Merger through gritted teeth

Merger through gritted teeth

Following workshops and $10,000 worth of legal advice, seven of the Town’s nine councillors approved a recommendation in a report endorsed by the Town’s Acting CEO Anthony Vuleta that the council note the outcomes of the electors’ meeting at a special council meeting last Tuesday.

This means the Town will not act on any of the five motions passed at the electors’ meeting but continue in the direction it chose at its March 11 meeting when six of the eight councillors voted to submit a joint amalgamation proposal with the City of South Perth to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB).

One of the dissenting councillors was Vince Maxwell, elected last October on an anti-reform platform, who tried to have one of the electors’ meeting motions included as an amendment to the council’s noting of that meeting’s minutes.

It caused some discord, with Cr Keith Hayes leaving the chamber in protest after claiming it was against a protocol agreed to by all councillors that amendments would only be raised at council meetings if a week’s notice was provided.

But Mr Vuleta said protocols ” more like a gentleman’s handshake agreement ” were overruled by legislated standing orders which determined the amendment ‘can and should be heard’.

Cr Maxwell agreed with Cr Hayes about upholding protocols but said the amendment wouldn’t change the motion, contained information already heard at the electors’ meeting three weeks prior and hadn’t been included in the meeting’s agenda as it was only available to councillors two days after the protocol deadline.

The disallowed amendment was to include motion four from the electors’ meeting, that the Town seek advice from the Mayors’ Alliance of Councils for Democracy on legal opinions on the extent of alleged illegality or abuse of process undertaken by the LGAB.

The hour-long meeting didn’t end without Mayor Trevor Vaughan reiterating that while some didn’t want the Town to participate in State Government-led reforms, the Town’s submission to the LGAB retained Burswood Peninsula and expanded, not reduced, its boundary to include neighbouring City of South Perth.

‘We had to stay in the game or we would have been divided up and lost to a forfeit. If we pull out now, it’s see you later Burswood,’ he said.